Last Laugh - Meet Us Where We Are Today

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Record Heaven
Catalog Number: RHCD8
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:27:00

Meet Us Where We Are Today is the debut release from Last Laugh, a Swedish heavy progressive rock band bordering on metal, playing an acidic, chunky, angular brand of metallic rock. The music here doesn't wash over you like refreshing water, but more like hot lava, capturing you in something that is hot, rocky, jagged and pointy. It isn't a sunny and upbeat release lyrically, either, and some of the vocal exhortations come from that place deep inside that is hurt and angry and about to explode, even as they are delivered in a calm and even manner. The thought one might want to keep in mind is a crunchier, heavier, modern day King Crimson with a bit of Red Hot Chilli Peppers at their least funky and more recent Porcupine Tree thrown in (especially with "Regards"). Drums and percussion (T-Mox) are very much the driving force in nearly every piece, not to be outdone by the heavy guitars (Wallin, also backing vocals) and bass (Stene, also lead vocals).

What smoothes out some of the rough edges are some of the vocal passages, though they do have their own lyrical edges and "Ultimate Unity," the second to last track, is a sparse, relaxed track with warm, liquid percussion and equally liquid guitars with Stene's strained vocals (here and elsewhere he sounds a lot like Anthony Keidis). Another "aberration" is the moody title track, where laidback, open, and steely drums play unconcernedly underneath sweetly sung, breathy vocals and the occasional blast of distorted guitar, the latter adding in a flurry of movement to a track that otherwise seems like slow motion. This dichotomy underscores the somewhat gruesome lyrics. There's a lot more hinted at than is actually said, however. What I like most about it, though, is the drumming (it's the same kind of drum sound Phil Collins had on "In The Air Tonight" and "I Don't Care Anymore").

"Peace" is a piece with a memorable chorus and heavy guitar riff that will stick in your mind, all while sounding vaguely familiar - aside from its Crimson overtones. Ironically, despite its title, it's anything but peaceful.

The track that doesn't work for me is "Onti (The Last World)" and this is mainly the watery, shimmery vocals that start off the track.

This album isn't for everyone, as some might find it too harsh, too raw, and may not care for Stene's vocals - I'll admit he isn't the strongest of vocalists, but for the effect they are going for in the music, they do work perfectly. But for those whose tastes lean this way, Meet Us? is a strong debut.

Busy (7:03) / Present (3:35) / Peace (5:45) / Meet Me Where I Am Today (5:41) / Panic (4:28) / Is There Anywhere? (5:02) / Regards (5:11) / Ultimate Unity (4:09) / Onti (6:12)

Stene - bass & lead vocals
Wallin - guitars & vocals
?stnytt - goggles & saz
T-Mox - drums & percussion

Meet Us Where We Are Today (2002)
Shapes (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 5th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 618
Language: english


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